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Test Driven Development: By Example

by Kent Beck

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656929,839 (3.95)2
Follows two TDD projects from start to finish, illustrating techniques programmers can use to increase the quality of their work. The examples are followed by references to the featured TDD patterns and refactorings. This book emphasises on agile methods and fast development strategies.
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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This is one of those books that I would have rated more highly a few years ago. TDD is not a particularly complicated concept and, these days, it's not particularly new either. Thus, the explanations I've come across online[1] and the one book I've read on the topic[2] have been quite sufficient exposure, making reading another book on the topic superfluous.

That said, Beck's book was, in my opinion, better than Test-Driven Development: A Practical Guide by David Astels. Astels' book is not bad, but it's over 500 pages long, and TDD just isn't really that complicated. Beck's book, at ~200 pages of fairly spacious typesetting, is much more proportional to the complexity of the topic (websites are even shorter, but I prefer to read books, especially when they are available from the library at work).

In short, if you are interested in learning about TDD -- and I think it's an approach all programmer should learn about and apply judiciously but not religiously -- I recommend reading about it on the internet and then, if you're a book person or want to see a more extended example, read Beck's book.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test-driven_development and http://www.agiledata.org/essays/tdd.html
[2] test-driven development: A Practical Guide by David Astels ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
Repetitive and simplistic. Does not go into more complex issues of testing. There must be a better book out there on TDD. ( )
  joshuagomez | May 31, 2019 |
I have read as much of this book as I needed and used some of the material when proposing a new process at work. I wish it focused on more than just unit tests. ( )
  KateSavage | Mar 29, 2019 |
I found this book an approachable read for learning the how, what, when, why's of test-driven-development. Mr. Beck has both the knowledge to impart and the skills to communicate the concepts and practice of test drive development. ( )
  orcpac7 | Sep 20, 2013 |
I must have read this back when it came out because I remember some of the jokes. This is a fascinating book about TDD, esp. if you read it now, given the maturation of the development model. On p. 199 there is a tantalizing section on "Application" TDD, where in a paragraph Beck anticipates BDD -- and how hard BDD can be if you don't properly rope in stakeholders as collaborators. I don't think we've figured that one out yet.

The book is a weird mix. First there's a section where Beck uses TDD to evolve an interface for handling money operations in different currencies. The section is a bit of a cheat, though, because first off Beck notes that he's done the "money" implementation 3 times in production, six times in print, and in live talks (p. 82): So the notion that he is somehow figuring out a problem or design with his TDD is pretty doubtful. He also notes in passing as he is working towards an implementation of a Sum class that it looks like a Composite pattern (p. 74) . . . that's right. He basically had the whole architecture in his head and is just kind of playing around. The section is also problematic because there's no complete source listing of the end product. Nowadays, it would be nice to have a full-blown commit list in github. On the other hand, it's all Java, and you have to wonder if it would take so long in, say, Ruby or Python.

Then there's a section on TDD'ing a Python xUnit. This section is quite forgettable. It's supposed to be "meta" and show you how you can TDD anything, but, really, it's pretty boring.

Then comes Part III: TDD Patterns. This bears close reading and has lots of little bits of advice, but you had better already be a "patterns" person. There are some interesting bits that show how far we've come from Java (for example: I can't imagine every doing a "self shunt" (p. 145) in Ruby.

We have really come a long way.

So: I recommend this for wisdom and for remembering the history. But if you're new to TDD I'm not sure this is the right place to start anymore. ( )
  tuke | Dec 1, 2012 |
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Follows two TDD projects from start to finish, illustrating techniques programmers can use to increase the quality of their work. The examples are followed by references to the featured TDD patterns and refactorings. This book emphasises on agile methods and fast development strategies.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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